The squat isn’t just about a single dumbbell squat, there are many variations that may work better for you than the barbell squat.
Here are 6 squat exercises that you should master when going to the gym
1. Goblet Squat
Goblet Squat is the best basic squat exercise for gym beginners. It is also suitable for experienced gymers when using extra weights for training or performing high reps.
While it’s not necessary to do the Goblet Squat before doing other squats, you can use it to gauge if you’re ready for another squat.
How to do Goblet Squat
Start with 2 hands holding a single dumbbell held in front of your chest, standing upright, feet hip-width apart and toes facing out. Since everyone has a different hip shape, adjust your legs so that they are most comfortable when moving without pain. Try to keep your feet close to the pincers.
Turn your thighs outward with your glutes so that your knees, ankles, and hips are in line. Stabilize the body by locking the body from the ribs down to the pelvis.
Lower your body down with control to keep your back straight as you perform the movement.
Stand up straight and return to the starting position and squeeze your glutes. Avoid leaning back after standing up straight.
When to practice Goblet squat?
- When you are just starting to get used to bodybuilding
- To increase the depth of the squat when you can only squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor
- If you are tall, your femurs are long, or you don’t move well when doing back squats
- When Your Shoulders Are Unstable When Doing Back Squats
- Extra exercises for core and upper back
- To warm up the hip and ankle muscles
See also: These 40 squat exercises for women will help you own a fiery butt in a few weeks
2. Bulgarian Squat
The Bulgarian Squat exercise is a very popular butt exercise among women. When performing the Bulgarian Squat, we only use one leg (unlike other squat exercises that use 2 legs at the same time). It’s great for maximizing workout results while controlling stress on your joints.
How to do the Bulgarian Squat
You need a chair or anything that is about the height of your knees. Rotate your back into the chair, place 1 foot on it, the other foot on the floor 1 distance away from the chair so that you feel most comfortable when lowering, 2 hands in front of your chest (or hold weights for extra difficulty if you like).
Lower your body vertically until the back knee is almost touching the floor, the front thigh is parallel to the floor, the shin is perpendicular to the floor. You should tighten your core muscles when performing the movement to keep the body stable
Do enough reps for 1 leg, then switch legs
When to do the Bulgarian Squat?
- Use it as a true exercise when your lower back is not strong
- To add volume to your legs without putting too much pressure on your spine
- Do the main exercise for one leg and lower body
- When you’re limited by dumbbells
- An alternative to Walking Lunge, safer for the knee joint.
3. Box Squat
This butt exercise is quite suitable for beginners because it allows for control of the movement, forcing them to stop at a safe range or feel comfortable squatting lower.
It works well as a squat or as a way to teach the squat or as a strategy to improve controlled squatting. It is also an advanced exercise for long lifters to build strength at the end of the squat or as a variation to stimulate the muscles with new pressure.
How to do Box Squats
Set up a crate or chair at your desired height, and choose a suitable squat such as a back squat, goblet squat or safety bar.
Inhale deeply, tighten your abs while standing upright, lower yourself down to a squat position when lightly touching the barrel (don’t sit on top of the barrel), hold for 1-2 seconds then stand up again.
When to do Box Squats?
- When you are a beginner in the gym
- To help you when you can’t do deep squats to approach depth slowly
- To limit range of motion when your lower back can’t stay straight when going deep
- Learn to control movement more deeply
4. Front Squat
Consider the Front Squat which is an advanced variation of the Goblet Squat. Both offer many benefits to using weights in the front, encouraging a more straight-forward suqat. Doing a Front Squat allows you to use heavier weights.
Front Squats focus more on the quads instead of the glutes like other squats. By focusing on the quadriceps, the back muscles will be less stressed.
Using the front bar also encourages a rearward shift of weight so that lifters have more height or balance to squat deeper in the back squat.
This is also the best squat exercise to refresh the Squat with the need to improve core strength, upper back, and body posture.
Front Squats tend to be more spine-friendly because they reduce pressure on the spine than Back Squats. Your spine is more resilient to compression than to shear, making the Front Squat a better choice for people who want to lift heavy without creating lower back problems.
How to do Front Squats
Place the bar on the dumbbell rack.
Place the bar on the front shoulder just above the collarbone with your hands in a diagonal or straight position, whichever is more comfortable for you, keeping your elbows up to avoid slipping the bar.
After stabilizing the position of the dumbbells, step back and put your feet in the squat position that feels most comfortable. Try to maintain an upright position with your elbows above the bar throughout the entire exercise.
Pro tip: If you want to increase the effect on the front thigh, insert a small piece of wood in the heel to add more flex to the knee when performing.
When to do Front Squats?
- To deload the spine and relieve pressure on the lower back
- To encourage a more upright squat pattern
- To stimulate muscle gain in the front thighs
- To improve hip and ankle squat depth and mobility
- To build strength for Olympic competitions
See also: How to squat for people who can’t squat?
5. Zercher Squat
The Zercher Squat exercise is not known to many people, this is an exercise that works the front thigh muscles as well as the core muscles, helping to deload the spine and keep your posture straight.
This squat exercise challenges your shoulder blades as well as your rhomboids while also challenging your body’s ability to contract, breathe, and maintain tension.
With these challenges, your ability to maintain the position with the bar on your back will improve significantly.
How to do the Zercher Squat
Place the bar on a rack below your sternum
Place your hands under the bar with your palms facing the ceiling, then secure the bar to your elbows. Clasp your hands so that your arms are open. This also allows you to lift heavier, which you can keep apart to challenge your back and arms more.
Hold on tight and lift the bar off the rack, get into your preferred squat position, fix the bar and “take” more air.
Try to maintain a relatively upright position throughout the procedure while keeping your elbows pointed to the sides.
Keep reps low from 3-6 because of the need to breathe/grip when performing
While you will get used to the discomfort in your biceps/elbows over time, if not, you can use a Fat Grip or a towel to cover the bar to reduce hand pain.
When to do Zercher Squats?
- To keep the weights in front without having to use a rack
- To improve total body tension when lifting weights
- To develop strength for Strongman or combat sports
- To improve strength, stiffness
- To improve the Back Squat
- To train the vertical squat with new nerve stimulation
6. Safety Bar Squat
Continuing is a squat exercise that is relatively unfamiliar to most people. Safety Bar Squat is a combination of Front Squat and Back Squat.
Like Front Squats they encourage vertical squats due to weight distribution and bar position, and like back squats because they can be performed with heavier weights than front squats.
It’s also friendly to most people, if your shoulders don’t work well with excessive outward rotation (like in a back squat) comfort is increased by the grip on the bar. The weight is also properly distributed to the body, which reduces the pressure placed on the back.
The only limiting factor is your feet. Your lower body will receive more intensity and quality without fatigue.
The Safety Bar is just as powerful as a back squat and novel enough to stimulate muscles. A comparative study found that the Safety Bar Squat resulted in a 13.9% increase in back strength in 1RM.
How to do the Safety Bar Squat
Place the bar on the rack, coming under the bar so that the spacers rest on the trapezius muscle. Two hands grasp the handle bar in front of the chest.
Just before lifting the bar off the rack, align the position of the bar so that the bar is in the midfoot position.
When completing the set, try to open your chest and not let your back bend forward. Keep your elbows steady instead of bending over to prevent the light barbell from reaching your neck.
When do you practice Safety Bar Squats?
- To build legs without limiting the factors that get in the way
- For a straight squat without the discomfort of a Front Squat
- Squat without irritating the lower back or shoulders
- To strengthen you when doing Back Squats
The above are the squat exercises that you should master how to practice is to completely master it, not only help you better support the main squats, but it also helps your body have more new stimulation due to the novelty they bring.
See also: Top 10 reasons that you should practice Squats today